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Westport 2/13

I'm embarrassed to have to lead this week's column with a few corrections to last week's column, for which I apologize to everyone concerned. I wrote that the proceeds from the Pull Tabs for Molly campaign went to help with Molly's medical treatment, which was wrong-they went to the Ronald McDonald House in Burlington, which extended reduced-rate food and lodging to the Rascoes during Molly's hospitalization.

The other two mistakes were still sloppy but perhaps less consequential-I wrote that the campaign netted 48 pounds of tabs when it really netted 248, and that Homer Estus had "at least a decade" as an Essex firefighter before coming to Westport when it was more like three years.

The last mistake came to my attention during the celebration of Homer's fifty year anniversary as a Westport firefighter on Wednesday, February 3. The anniversary itself was the previous day, but our fire department's monthly meeting fell on the Wednesday, and so it seemed right to dedicate the meeting itself to this worthy occasion. Instead of the firehouse, we met at the Town Hall. It was a wonderful celebration.

Homer's family and his many friends enjoyed excellent sandwiches and cake from Me and My Girls, and emcee Ernie La Pine regaled the audience with an often humorous account of Homer's time in the fire service. In fact, there seems to be a little confusion about a few dates and even the spelling of names, so I don't feel quite so bad about my third mistake.

But there was a serious side to the evening, too. Numerous local and state officials acknowledged Homer's achievement with citations and resolutions of appreciation, and Westport Fire Chief Jim Westover, Jr. presented Homer with a gold watch and a handsome plaque commemorating his service. For a fuller account of the event, see the article in this issue of the paper. It was a fitting tribute to a remarkable man-a way for all of us in the community to say "thank you for your service, Homer."

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